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Get it right, people: It's Rus as in "goose"

Minerva's Diary

Get it right, people: It's Rus as in "goose"

Stephen H. Provost

Here's another early entry from my diary. This one's important. It tells you how to pronounce my name, so have some respect and do it right, would you please?

March 13, 2011

In case anyone ever reads this thing or anyone really cares, one thing you should know is how to pronounce my name, because everybody gets it wrong.

OK, repeat after me: It’s Roos. Like goose. All my life everyone has said it “Russ,” like there were two S’s on the end of it, but there aren’t. There’s just one.

Sometimes I think maybe I should start writing it with those little dots over the U, the way Mötley Crüe does. Then maybe people would get it.

The thing is, Rus is kind of a generic name, the way I feel generic. It was my father’s name. He left when I was really young, so I don’t remember him, and Jessica (my “mother”) never told me his first name. She only calls him “that person.” But one time I asked her about it, and she said it was the name they gave some of the Russian families who came into New York right after the Russian revolution. They couldn’t pronounce a lot of them, so they’d give them short names that were easy to spell. You know, like Rus for “Russian.”

I used to dream I was the last surviving member of the Romanov family, the rulers of Russia, that I was the princess Anastasia. It made me feel special. But I’m not a princess. I’m just a girl who grew up in a wheelchair with no friends and a mother who treated me like crap. I don’t even have her same last name – not that I’d want it. I’m not saying that so you’ll feel sorry for me, but that’s how it is.

If you don’t remember anything else about me, just remember how to pronounce my name right. Roos, as in “goose.” It won’t make me your BFF, but maybe I’ll give you a gold star or something.

M